Letter to the editor: We must protect pollinators and plants in Summit County
Sweet spring is here! The snow melts back into the ground, bringing grasses and wildflowers to take over the mountain. Bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles, even migrating hummingbirds are some of the incredible native pollinators keeping Colorado colorful.
Pollinators should be protected. They are crucial to a healthy ecosystem, plant growth and helping crop production.
So, what do pollinators do? Pollinators travel from plant to plant collecting and spreading pollen. The spreading of pollen from one flower to another is an essential part of plant reproduction. Plant reproduction includes production of seeds and fruit. Some plants rely on pollinators to produce.
According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, crops like cantaloupe, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, and watermelon are unable to produce any fruit without the assistance of pollinators.
Plants are also crucial to the success of pollinators. Plants are able to provide habitat and food. In today’s age, pollinators struggle to find habitat in urban landscapes. Keeping pollinators in mind when adding plants to an ecosystem is important to make sure balance is kept. Habitats for pollinators can be natural or manmade. As long as proper nutrition and nesting areas are provided a pollinator can likely succeed!
A big threat to pollinators currently is pesticides. There is a plan to help protect pollinators. Unfortunately, none of the guidelines are enforceable. The guidelines state that: “Pesticides and pollinators can coexist, but the pesticide user must be abide by the label and should do their part to minimize risk to bees and pollinating insects visiting crops and ornamental plants when in bloom.”
Pollinator protection should be enforced and people should be aware of how to promote pollinator success. Learning about what pollinators do and why they are important is the first step! With spring here, look outside and appreciate what pollinators do!
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